House plan delays Parkway expansion

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FRANKFORT - On Tuesday, the Kentucky House approved a road plan that would postpone completion of widening and extending sections of the Mountain Parkway.

The project was set to be completed by the year 2020, but under the new plan, not yet passed through the Senate, sections would not be completed until 2024. 

Within the plan, the project will still begin this year, with the money already set aside for the majority of the Magoffin County section of the widening project. 

By delaying the overall completion date, the need for tolls, which was previously discussed, would be eliminated.

Representative Leslie Combs told the Lexington Herald-Leader, "The whole point of the Mountain Parkway is to open up the region and make it more accessible," Combs said. "Tolls were not going to help. We're having this big debate about whether the Louisville bridges should have tolls, and everyone has jobs in Louisville."

Furthermore, she said, " "To the governor's credit, he was trying to get it done in six years. But we've waited 50 years to finish the Mountain Parkway, and we can wait a little longer. This just seemed the more responsible way to go."

Also on the House's road plan for 2014 and 2015 are the bridge replacements and/or reconstruction on Route CR 1756, two on KY 2019, and two on KY 30.